Health information exchange is termed as the process of having independent healthcare providers from a particular region exchanging medical records. HIEs are grouped mainly according to how they are administered and managed. There are those that are managed by nonprofit organizations while others are controlled by a governmental agency. With an ever growing American population, it is important to have a standardized mode of exchanging medical records within the healthcare system.
There are many advantages of using HIEs such as improving safety during treatment processes, reducing time used during diagnosis, decreasing clinical errors and making the healthcare system more competent and fruitful. In most cases of emergency where patients are unable to express themselves, diagnosis can be wrongly done, thereby leading to a incorrectly initiated treatment process. The impact is felt most among the aging population as well as those suffering from chronic illnesses such asthma, cardiovascular problems, diabetes among others. That is why we need specialists who will help in providing the required medical information to healthcare providers on behalf of these groups of people, in a timely and more proficient way.
Improvements in the management of HIEs has helped to do away with duplicate tests as well as minimize the number of times a patient can be readmitted to the hospital. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that healthcare providers save a lot of time when treating patients whose information is in the HIE database. Consequently, there is enhanced patient satisfaction too.
However, it is worth noting that HIE consulting can be more enhanced if standardization is done. What HIE interoperability calls for is that organizations providing these services to adhere to the required standards so that the process of exchanging data can be more effective. When standardization is not done, the process would become very tiresome. This process can be related to the use of a certain language as a medium of communication among various communities. Usage of a common language is an important tool that enhances integration among people from different ethnic communities. Standardization aims at only improving the process of information exchange. It assists in improving the level of understanding among the different institutions that are involved in the healthcare system.
Besides having the department of Health and Human services as the main body that controls HIE consulting in the United States, there are other organizations within the private sector. The department is divided into ten regions that span across the entire United States of America. However, implementation and improvement of HIE services has taken longer in some states than in others due to diverse demographic factors.